How Bodybuilding Can Help You Beat Binge Eating!

This article will give you the real truth on binge eating and help you incorporate techniques to beat it, whether you suffer from an occasional binge episode or a full-blown eating disorder. Learn more.
Article Summary:
  • Binge eating is the most common eating disorder.
  • There are many potential complications from binge eating disorder.
  • Call your physician if you think you have a binge eating problem.
  • There is one eating disorder that people are so hush-hush about that many of the sufferers don't realize they are far from alone. It's called binge eating disorder. And, it is actually the most common eating disorder.

    This article will give you the real truth on binge eating and help you incorporate techniques to beat it, whether you suffer from an occasional binge episode or a full-blown eating disorder.

    Binge Eating Disorder Is Actually The Most Common Eating Disorder.
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    Binge Eating Disorder Is Actually
    The Most Common Eating Disorder.

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    What Is Binge Eating Disorder?
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    We all overeat on occasion. But, in some people this once in a while occasion can turn into a regular occurrence tangled with shame, secrecy, and a compulsion to binge. People with binge eating disorder are embarrassed about their episodes and inability to stop gorging in the midst of a binge.

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    There are varying levels along the bingeing spectrum. Some may binge several times a day and others once a week. However, common symptoms of this disorder include:

    • Consumption of unusually large amounts of food during a binge (thousands of calories).
    • Recurrent episodes of binge eating.
    • Eating even when full or uncomfortably full.
    • Eating rapidly during binges.
    • Feeling like you lack control over eating.
    • Feeling depressed, anxious, guilty or embarrassed after eating.
    • Hoarding food.
    • Eating alone.
    • Hiding empty food containers.
    • Running out to replace another person's food that you ate.
    • Binge eating disorder is characterized as at least twice a week for at least six months.

    Hoarding Food Is A Characteristic Of Binge Eating.
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    Hoarding Food Is A
    Characteristic Of Binge Eating.

    Binge eating disorder has also been called compulsive overeating. And, while many people with binge eating disorder are overweight or obese, some are normal weight and compensate by dieting in between binges.

    There are many potential complications or issues from binge eating disorder including:

    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Panic attacks
    • Substance abuse
    • Obesity
    • High blood pressure
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • High blood cholesterol
    • Gallbladder disease
    • Heart disease
    • Stroke
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Joint pain
    • Muscle pain
    • Gastrointestinal issues
    • Headaches
    • Sleeping issues

    What causes bingeing and binge eating disorder? The specific cause may be unknown but experts believe that a combination of biological, psychological and sociocultural factors all contribute to binge eating disorder.

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    How Bodybuilding Can Help You Beat Binge Eating
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    Though some bodybuilders employ strict dieting strategies, bodybuilding can actually help you conquer the battle of the binge. Here's how:

    • Bodybuilders eat frequent meals. Binging is often brought on by eating too few calories or waiting to long between meals. When you go for hours without eating or if you drastically underfeed your body, you are setting yourself up for a binge episode.

      To get a fab physique and improve their health, bodybuilders know how important it is to eat frequent small meals to keep their bodies well fueled and their energy levels stable. Doing this can help prevent bingeing.

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    • Bodybuilding boosts your self-esteem. A preoccupation with body shape, weight and appearance are common factors associated with binge-eating disorder. However, bodybuilding makes you feel better about your body regardless of your shape, weight or size.

      If you go into the gym frequently and workout hard, you will get stronger, walk taller and feel better about yourself. When the challenges in the gym spill over into everyday life and people are asking for your help moving furniture or lifting something, you can't help but feel good about yourself and the body you've created.

    Bodybuilding Makes You Feel Better About Your Body Regardless Of Your Shape, Weight Or Size.
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    Bodybuilding Makes You Feel Better About
    Your Body Regardless Of Your Shape, Weight Or Size.

    • Bodybuilding helps your mental state. People who are predisposed to depression or other psychological issues may have a greater propensity toward binge eating. Bodybuilding can help you feel better.

      First, it gives you something to do so you are never bored (looking for self-improvement, read the plethora of articles on Bodybuilding.com, join the forum or take a look at people's Bodyblogs).

      Secondly, exercise can decrease your stress and anxiety. It can also help you cope with anger management issues. All of these things can steer you away from bingeing on food to cope with your feelings.

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    Additional Tips To Help You Beat Binge Eating
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    If you think you have a binge-eating problem, call your physician and ask for help. Or, look into your workplace assistance program (if you have one). In addition, there are several types of treatment that can help you overcome binge eating. These include:

      Therapy:

      • Psychotherapy
      • Cognitive behavior therapy
      • Interpersonal therapy
      • Dialectical behavior therapy

      Medication:

      • Antidepressants
      • Anti-anxiety medication

    There are also a number of self-help strategies that you can use including books, videos, support groups and on line educational materials.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION ON EATING DISORDERS

    National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), NIH, HHS
    Phone: (866) 615-NIMH (6464)
    http://www.nimh.nih.gov

    National Mental Health Information Center, SAMHSA, HHS
    Phone: (800) 789-2647
    http://www.mentalhealth.org

    Academy for Eating Disorders
    Phone: (847) 498-4274
    http://www.aedweb.org

    National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
    Phone: (847) 831-3438
    http://www.anad.org

    National Eating Disorders Association
    Phone: (800) 931-2237
    http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

    In addition, you can keep a food/mood journal that details what you ate (including binges) and how you felt at that time. This will help uncover some of the feelings that may lead to binges so that you can better tackle these feelings.

      Other Strategies:

      • Overeaters Anonymous
      • Find ways to relax including meditation, yoga, walking through nature, or painting.
      • Uncover your sources of stress and find ways to manage them.
      • Surround yourself with people who boost your self-esteem and avoid those who take jabs at you or try to bring you down.
      • Keep food that may trigger binges out of your house.
      • Journal about your feelings.

    Keep Food That May Trigger Binges Out Of Your House.
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    Keep Food That May Trigger
    Binges Out Of Your House.

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    Conclsuion
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    Though everybody overeats once in a while, if you feel shamed or depressed about your inability to control an eating episode, you may suffer from binge eating disorder. Unlike alcohol or smoking, we can't avoid food. Therefore, it is important to seek help and work on overcoming bingeing.

    And, it is vital to keep exercising. Exercise does your mind and body a world of good and helps you develop some of the character traits necessary to overcome binge eating. So, treat your body right and keep on bodybuilding.

    About The Author:

      Marie Spano is a leading authority on translating the latest nutrition and exercise science research into real life applications. Ms. Spano has also helped Olympic athletes, NFL-bound athletes and Fortune 500 executives enhance their health and performance through sound nutrition practices. For more information see: www.mariespano.com.

    References:

    1. Binge Eating Disorder. Mayo Clinic.